By Claire

Ash cloud over Ohakune.

At around midnight last night, Mount Tongariro, on the North Island of New Zealand erupted.

There are reports of ash in the area immediately surrounding the volcano, however, there have only been small amounts of lava ejected during the eruption. Scientists believe that the eruption was driven by hydrothermal processes, rather than through the build-up of lava.

Ash in the area surrounding Mount Tongariro.

The eruption comes after 3-4 weeks of volcanic unrest, including a large number of small earthquakes, leading up to the eruption. At present, there is no indication that the volcanic activity is escalating.

Follow all of the updates on the One News website.